Formula One commercial rights chief Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that the sale price of the sport “has been agreed”, but says the decision now rests on current owners CVC Capital Partners.
Rumours of the private equity firm’s willingness to sell its 35% controlling stake have been swirling in recent months.
No hints have been given as to who the potential buyers may be but a consortium formed by Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and RSE Ventures, the owners of the Miami Dolphins NFL team, has been regularly cited as a likely candidate. Interest from Chinese investors has also been reported.
“I think CVC will make a decision on the sale sooner or later,” Ecclestone said in an interview with The Mail on Sunday.
“There are people who want to buy. Actually, two of the people have agreed the price. It's just a question of whether CVC wants to sell or not.”
F1 has been rushed from a winter of discontent to a spring of unrest amid growing frustration from grand prix drivers about the sport’s “obsolete” and “ill-structured” governance. Ecclestone is not sure what sort of impact a change of ownership could have on the series' decision-making process.
“You don't know what's going to happen until somebody buys and you see what they are like. How do you know if you will get on with them?”